Saturday, October 24, 2015

Professional Indulgence



Time flies when you are having fun. 
Emm and I left our children and homes yesterday...just for a day. Not even an entire day, but most of it.
Fifty-five other moms did the same. Some, in vans together, driving an hour or two to get to the special place. 

That's actually a big deal for a home-educating mom. Together, that meant that child care was arranged for 178 or so kids (can't remember the exact number), many dads took the day off and some hearts of mom/toddlers were separated in a willing, but uncomfortable way. It's one of the drawbacks of home-educating. We aren't great at being away from home for very long. It's not a weakness, it's a beautiful fact. However, there is a time for everything under the sun, and for this 57, it was a time for refreshment and mind stimulation. 

Five or 6 of these women worked extremely hard at making the day an experience worth the effort. I think that's because they know exactly what is needed sometimes. They were doing what they would desire others to do for them...golden. How clearly does homemade soups and cheesecakes, gourmet salad and coffee, fresh fruit, goat-cheese, hemp hearts and dried cherries say "I love, understand and appreciate you"?? I got it...loud and clear. Our experienced and passionate session leaders brought their hearts and minds to us on a silver platter. Our opportunity to pour out our souls to each other brought tears of relief and echos of laughter among the sea of leather boots, colorful scarves, jean jackets,  fresh hair-do's and even some makeup. We just cannot deny our femininity and love of beauty...and rare occasion to publicly don them. We unashamedly celebrate our divine design and wiring.

A little deeper though, under the skin of beauty and a little higher than the hearts of emotion, our minds were fed...mine for sure. I crave challenging and growing my mind in the things that I am passionate about. I could talk and listen all day about home education, learning issues and family...and that's what I got to do! All day...with like-minds...similar vision...similar challenges...common loves. Sharing discoveries, note-taking book titles and websites, planning networks and getting questions answered. It sparked a fire in me that was smoldering and up I got, early this morning, chasing the ideas online. Mind food...satisfying education...developed in my profession for sure. I'm pretty sure we were there for 6 hours, but I could swear it felt more like 1 or 2. How blessed I am to love my calling so much and to have so many others to journey with in it.

Sometimes, it can get a little, or a lot discouraging, in this job, when you cannot see the big picture and the loooonnnnggggg term results that it produces. Like the depression prone Elijah, we think we are the only one left. God wakes us from our escape sleep, feeds us and directs us to action...sometimes a couple of times, and reminds us that we are not alone. Our Professional Development Day did just that...woke us, fed us and moved us forward. I pray that the organizers and those who made great effort to attend know how redeeming and fruitful their efforts have been already. 

I've been craving and satisfied with nourishing food...mind, body and soul. 
It won't last forever, but God sustains and provides for the future. 
Grateful.

...and hoping my reputation was not severely tarnished by my "Full House", public confession ;)



Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Just Justin


The morning after the 2015 Canadian federal election.
I am not going to rant.

I decided this morning that I'd better get to know my new PM, Justin Trudeau, on a more personal level, and so started a little research on who he and his family are. Upon googling his wife Sophie and being blocked by NetNanny for "nudity", initial frustration set in.  I need to get a grip. I need to be helpful and hopeful.

Although every fiber of my being does not want to do this...I will.

I will support my new Prime Minister in ways I can.

I will respect him and his position.

 I will not hate the color red.

I will put away my fear for our future.

I will put away frustration with Christian blindness and apathy, voter ignorance and media deception.

I will remember that he is just a man in a God-given position.

He needs me.

He needs me to respect and pray for him. He is just a man with a wife and three sweet children. Even though I will never support his beliefs, platform, nor his vision for our Canada, and may have to speak and stand against these ideas, I have an obligation to see him and his party as Christ does. He created them, died for them and gave them this power. I am powerless, but serve an omnipotent God, who hears my prayers for my country, its unborn, its God-fearers, its responsible, humble and its selfless. Being frustrated, afraid and angry won't help anyone.

Sometimes things need to get worse before they get better.

If you are experiencing the same political hangover I am, remember:

He is just a man,
But God can change him,
if he wants to,
I guess.

(to the tune of the Red Green motto..and a little more confidence)

  GOD is in control.

Deal with the hangover...
My cold shower:

 "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Ephesians 6:12

My strong coffee:

"Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen."  Ephesians 3:20-21






Saturday, October 10, 2015

Gravity

If the original sin was pride, then the original solution must be humility. Sure. Humility. Probably the most difficult solution and posture imaginable...humanly speaking. 

Only Jesus, fully God and fully human...200%...could do this rescue for us, then lead us into His likeness. 

I've been dropping things a lot lately. Vegetables I try to dice, books for school, laundry to the bedrooms, everything. One might think it was a symptom of a sickness. I think it was just a reminder of gravity. It forces me to think about how hard it is for me to get down low. My body just cries at the distance between my hands and that floor these days. It seems light-years away. After a tiny groan of "not again", I decide on squat versus golfer, then brace my core and get low. The ride up is harder than the one down. I'm thinking about wearing a tool belt for things, to avoid the dreaded lowering of myself. These pains always mean a lesson for me though. So I thought about gravity and pain.

Wouldn't it be just like our creative Teacher to use earth science and midlife to remind us of the importance of getting low, humility? The more I drop things, the more I remember to be humble...painfully humble. My soul constantly yearns to express itself. What I think, what I prefer, who I am, even what I think others should think or do. That's pretty proud, when you think about it. It's not always wrong to do, but to yearn for it? 

This election has brought my expressive tendencies out. I have refrained from posting my thoughts about it simply because it seems pointless...except to gratify my flesh like shooting myself up with a dose of Rant, Vent or Ardent. There is already too much of that out there. Too many armpits, smelling up time and space. Facebook is all about expressing yourself. I'm trying to be careful about that. Good and bad things sometimes need to be expressed, but the person of few words is usually the one that is listened to...most influential and helpful. So for today, I'll express my opinion on expressing my opinion. 

Maybe it's best to hold my tongue, or fingers, unless some outside source obviously invites me to do so. And if I do, may it be in the humblest of manners. This takes practice, because I am proud. My heart, mind, blood and flesh are proud by birth...and I am passionate. That can sting sometimes. Constant lowering is great exercise for this malady. The thought direction, the bracing, the strength, balance and discomfort are healing to the sick peacock. Every time I have to lower myself, I have to mutter thankfulness instead of groans of remorse...because that's a critical part of the exercise. Thankfulness sets the mind on the right course, fills the body with health and exalts the King of Humble. Identify with Him and the lowering becomes a privilege. Worthy to suffer with Him and enjoy the fellowship of the lowering. 

It doesn't matter to you who I will vote for, or what I think about guns, cannabis or tax allocation. No one is asking me. If they do, I have a responsibility to answer, and I will. In the meantime, I'll ponder all of these things in my heart, teach them to my children (because it's my job to tell them), continue scrolling past the endless posts of others' addiction to expressiveness and learn to enjoy the humility of silence. 

Gravity is good for me. It's a good force and direction. When I want to float through life, the moon reminds me of the strength I need to develop...the strength to get low.

"Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up." James 4:10


Saturday, October 3, 2015

Sitting Still



"Be still and know that I am God."

This is the verse that haunts me. 
It perplexes me and challenges me.
I'm not good at being still and I'd rather feel something than know something...by nature.
Illumination is happening though and I think I'm starting to get it, starting to do it. During the crazy rain storm Wednesday night, as I struggled, sick with constant nose blowing, headache and negative thinking, I sat alone on my bed. I opened the window to let the fresh wind and mist into the room and on my face. No music. No audio sermon. Nothing. Just the mist and wind. Repeating the verse over and over, I asked God to help me understand it. 

"What is it exactly that you want me to 'know' about you here...now...that I need?" 

Of course there was no audible voice or external revelation, because I opened my Bible and read Him, in my orderly, chronological way of Bible study:

"Know that the Lord Himself is God, it is He who has made us and not we ourselves. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture." Psalm 100:3

Just because you study the Bible in an orderly, chronological way, doesn't mean that He can't speak to you in a creatively and supernaturally. I asked Him what He wanted me to know about Him and He answered exactly. That is a living Word.

So then, I sat in the mist and pondered knowing about who He really is and who I am...our stable, victorious relationship...and all the implications of that to my problems. I had much good to THINK about then and it led to FEELING better. I've just had it backward...wanting to feel good first, then to translate that into some truth to live by. In reality, I run to God's truth first, know it, live it, then receive the good feelings it graciously imparts on my thrashing, ravenous soul. But I have to start by being still,...then just know something true. He created the whole world out of nothing, so why wouldn't he create good feelings...joy out of nothing but stillness and quiet too. Let Him speak into that stillness through the scriptures...He has so much to say...so much healing....so much hope. 

God made me an intensely feeling person. I'm not trying to change that, nor do I wish to. But we intensely feeling people need to direct and master our emotions for Christ's sake. Unchecked, they'll destroy, but mastered, they can change the world...or at least just your own.